Exclusive: Celebrating 4/20 with the top 10 marijuana breakthroughs

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This 4/20, we want to celebrate the huge strides that have been made in the legal cannabis industry.

More than ever, weed is being given credit around the world for its benefits. As such, we’ve compiled 10 breakthroughs that have happed in the last year in the industry:

1. Countries that legalized marijuana

Every day, more and more areas of the world are recognizing marijuana as having valuable, medicinal properties. As such, countries are legalizing at a quick pace. Here’s a breakdown of countries that have legalized medicinal cannabis to some extent:

  • Cyprus legalizes cannabis oil for advanced stage cancer patients in January of 2017
  • Germany legalizes medical cannabis in March of 2017
  • Greece legalizes medical cannabis in June of 2017
  • Mexico legalizes medical cannabis having a THC content of 1% or less in June of 2017
  • Lesotho grants modern Africa’s first medical cannabis license in September of 2017
  • Peru legalizes cannabis oil for medical use in November of 2017
  • Luxembourg legalizes medical cannabis extracts in November of 2017
  • Denmark legalizes cannabis-based medicines as of January 1, 2018

2. Canada is on track to legalize marijuana this summer

Canada is already a world leader in the cannabis industry and Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is doing the most to keep their promise of legalizing recreational marijuana across the country. On March 22, the Senate approved bill C-45 that will make marijuana legal hopefully by the summer. Canada will be the first G7 country to legalize recreational cannabis.

3. Marijuana in the U.S.

  • West Virginia legalizes medical cannabis through state legislation in April of 2017 and took effect in July of 2017
  • Indiana legalizes low THC, high CBD cannabis oils for uncontrollable seizures in April of 2017 and took effect in July of 2017
  • New Hampshire decriminalizes cannabis through legislation in 2017, replacing misdemeanors charges with smaller fines
  • Vermont becomes the first state to legalize recreational cannabis by way of legislation in January of 2018, the effects of the provisions taking place in July of 2018

4. Combatting cancer with cannabis

British Biopharmaceutical Company, GW Pharmaceuticals unveiled preliminary data that cannabis kills cancer cells. The findings from an experimental drug that combines cannabidiol and THC showed that the drug boosted brain cancer patients’ media survival rates by about six months compared to a placebo.

5. Support for legalization at a record-high in the US

According to Gallup’s annual poll, 64 percent of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, including a majority of Republicans. Until recently, marijuana legalization was typically a partisan issue with the Republicans in strong opposition to the legalization of weed. Marijuana is quickly becoming a non-partisan issue that politicians from all parties agree is necessary.

6. President promises to protect legal states

After a drawn out standoff between Senator Cory Gardner and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Gardner announced earlier in April that President Donald Trump promised the Senator that the Colorado cannabis industry would not be targeted. Gardner also said that the President told him that he would support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix the states’ rights issues once and for all. Donald Trump’s opinion on legal cannabis is known to flip-flop, but this announcement was very promising for the industry.

7. World Health Organization considers rescheduling marijuana

Marijuana currently sits in the most restrictive category of Schedule, a category designated for drugs with apparently no medical use and high safety concerns. This means it’s currently scheduled the same as Heroin, LSD and cocaine. The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a review of marijuana’s current scheduling and is asking nations for their input. The WHO will meet in June to discuss the classification through a very in-depth analysis of the information brought forward. If cannabis is rescheduled internationally, there might be enough momentum for the U.S. and other countries to legalize entirely.

8. Impaired driving technology has advanced to detect marijuana

A huge concern for those hesitant about legalizing is people driving while high, but it seems the technology has advanced enough that it might not be as much of an issue. A Canadian company called Cannabix Technologies Inc. is confident that they have developed the technology to detect if someone is impaired while driving. Their marijuana breathalyzer can detect THC using breath samples and sales to law enforcement will hopefully begin this year.

Can you think of other exciting events that took place in the cannabis industry this year? Let us know in the comments.

9. Marijuana is the fastest growing job category in the U.S.

Typically when you think of industries that are growing quickly, you think of technology or healthcare, but these industries have not seen the growth that the cannabis industry has seen. In the last year, cannabis-related jobs have seen a 445 percent increase and rightfully so. As the stigma continues to fade and more jurisdictions choose to legalize, the workforce is needed to support this fast-paced industry.

10. More states are requiring employers to tolerate medical cannabis use

As laws about the use of marijuana progress, employers will need to think twice about firing someone or choosing not to hire someone based on whether or not they use medical cannabis. States including Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Minnesota and New York all have laws in place that forbid employers to discriminate against anyone who uses marijuana for medical purposes so long as they’re not impaired on the job.

Can you think of other breakthroughs that have occurred in the industry recently? Let us know in the comments.

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